There are a lot of exciting things going on at the start of a new year, but for me, this year’s exciting thing is a little different from usual: I can finally talk about the new project I’ve been invited to work on, a publishing company called Oktopus Ink.
Oktopus Ink will publish young adult and new adult science fiction and fantasy featuring diverse characters, especially diverse protagonists. The editors are especially looking for LGBT+ characters, characters of color, and characters who represent diversity of ability, though OI will also be interested in books with non-Western settings and representing diverse religious beliefs as well.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll probably know that diversity in entertainment is something I’m incredibly passionate about. I’m incredibly excited to be on the OI team, and I’m looking forward to the work we’ll publish.
(Find out more about Oktopus Ink after the jump!)
I spend a lot of time thinking about books.
This probably isn’t surprising, for anyone who knows me, and I do devote a lot of time on this blog to reviewing books I’ve read and listing how many books I read each year.
Now that I’m at the tail end of my graduate publishing program, though, I’ve got enough of a foothold with my friends to know what sort of books I should loan them. A couple days ago, I loaned out a few books to a friend that I really enjoyed, and in the name of sharing a wide array of voices and experiences, I tried to pick almost all books about or write by diverse authors.
There were a lot of books in the bag I handed her, so I can’t remember all of the titles I included, but you can read a little about three graphic novels I loaned her after the jump.
I’ve got something new up at Girls in Capes!
Today’s review is for an adult literary/surrealist novel called ASURA GIRL, an award-winning Japanese novel by Otaro Maijo. It follows a girl named Aiko, who is currently living in a town overrun with youth violence and a serial killer called the Round-and-Round Devil.
This book is really different from most books I’ve picked up, and I think fans of Battle Royale might enjoy it, though it’s a little on the literary end for my preferences.
An excerpt from the review:
I realized by the end of the third page that this book definitely wasn’t intended for what the US considers the teen market, though I wouldn’t be shocked if it worked for the Japanese market. The language is rough the way a scrappy teenager’s language is always rough, and the violent and sexual content makes it much better for older audiences.
You can check out the full review over at Girls in Capes.
(In case you were wondering: yes, I realize this is my second review on GiC this week, and yes, I finished both of these books the day the review went up, and yes, my head is spinning a bit from all of it.)
I’ve got something new up at Girls in Capes!
Today’s review is for the YA novel THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin, which follows three teens — Dai, Jin, and Mei Yee — who live in the eponymous walled city of Hak Nam.
While I absolutely loved this book, it took me three months (!) to actually finish reading it — which, for me, is an amazingly long time. It’s a beautiful book, and heart-breakingly difficult.
But you can read all about that over at GiC. An excerpt:
When I originally picked up The Walled City and read the back, I assumed it was a typical (and for me, boring) YA dystopian novel set in a Chinese or Chinese-inspired futuristic setting.
Spoiler alert: it’s not.
Read the full review right now over at Girls in Capes.
I’m excited to start my fourth year attempting the 100 Books challenge!
Last year, I managed to read 97 books. Some of my favorites? Ann Leckie’s ANCILLARY SWORD — sequel to 2013’s ANCILLARY JUSTICE — along with M. R. Carey’s THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, the first volume of the new MS. MARVEL written by G. Willow Wilson about a Pakistani-American superheroine, and SHADOWBOXER by Tricia Sullivan.
This year, I’ve already got 7 books on my list — mainly books I was trying but failed to finish in 2014, plus a couple for upcoming events and reviews:
- The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
- Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 9, ed. Andrew Drilon & Charles Tan
- Once We Were* by Kat Zhang
- Asura Girl* by Otaro Maijo
- A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall (ARC)
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown (GiC Book Club)
You’ll be able to find reviews of The Walled City and Asura Girl up this month over at Girls in Capes. If you’re in the West Philadelphia suburbs area, join us for our book club on Jan. 31 to talk about Red Rising.
What books are you most looking forward to this year?
If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me talking about a talk I delivered last Saturday in my hometown. The video is live, for those who may be interested in checking it out.
It was an incredible opportunity to return to Toledo for this talk. I’m incredibly grateful to Lorraine Cipriano and Kayla Williams, the organizers of Women Unbound who invited me to speak both at last year’s launch and this year’s anniversary. Special thanks also to Randy Nissen from Toledo Early College High School, who records the Women Unbound talks and brings a boatload of TECHS kids (who, I might add, I always find to be some of the most intelligent, mature, and overall amazing high school kids I’ve ever met.)
It’s not really news that I recommend Thomas Woll’s Publishing for Profit. The book was one of the first I purchased in the fall of 2012 when I started at Rosemont College’s graduate publishing program, and my copy is one of the most-referenced books I own.
In fact, I reference Publishing for Profit so frequently that it’s also my number one most recommended title for new students at Rosemont. When a new student asked me this fall what books I think she should read as she starts the program, I told her to get a copy of Publishing for Profit and keep it near her desk, because I’ve used it almost every single semester of graduate school.
The class I used it for most often, though it wasn’t required reading for the course, was a class I took called Maintaining & Operating a Small Press. The course has since changed, and it’s taught by a different professor now, but at the time, the main project in the course was to create a (fake) small press, manage the titles the press would publish, and create a business plan to project how the press would run.
Publishing for Profit offers incredible advice for nearly all aspects of running a publishing company. My endgame as a publishing graduate student has always been to either found or work at a small press, so not only did the course help me gain the skills I’d been looking for, but so did Publishing for Profit.